Humility

10 Jun

Light Shining in DarknessRead it. I dare you. Read 1 Corinthians and tell me that one of it’s major themes isn’t humility.

When I read 1 Corinthians about a year ago the thing that struck me most was how Paul had not included Philippians 2 at any point!

Just a quick scan will reveal that one of the Corinthians main issues was pride or self interest. Ch.1 & 3 we see divisions, no doubt caused by pride and wanting to be ‘right’ or wise. Ch. 4v18 he calls some of them arrogant. In Ch.5 there are hints that the Corinthian church is judging those outside the church…when really they should be judging themselves. Ch. 6 see Paul repeat the Corinthian Catchphrase, “Everything is permissible for me” but tempers its proud use. Ch. 7 and marriage is drenched in thinking and making more of your partner. and so on and so on.

1 Corinthians is possibly best know for Paul’s dealing with Spiritual Gifts. But even in this often considered passage we see what Paul is really dealing with is pride! And his solution is humility! (Go on…check it out!)

So what has this got to do with 1 Cor 2v1-5? The Gospel, the WHOLE Gospel, can only be preached with humility:

3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.

Paul’s fear and trembling were not on account of his inability to speak or to argue or to reason (on the contrary Paul was a formidable debater) but rather they were in the knowledge that without a demonstration of the Spirit’s power i.e. the conviction of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men, true conversions would be impossible!

The Challenge:
How greatly do we lean on reason to force conversion in our Churches today…as if we can ‘rationalise into the kingdom.’ Paul knew that for his part he could effect no real change in his hearers (and that there was nothing in them that could effect a suitable change). Do we really rely fully on the power of God for salvation (see ch1)? If we don’t…shouldn’t we?

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